Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Sunday that the power to govern has trickled from Israel’s elected officials to other power hubs – particularly to the clerks in the justice system. Attorney General Weinstein was quick to retort that the new minister suffers from an overly simplistic view of the concept of governance.
We can choose to ignore all the examples that refute the AG’s comment – including the strange way in which the complaint filed against him for employing an illegal foreign worker in his home (he said he didn’t notice) was buried. But the AG’s very comment proves just how right the Justice Minister is.
Criticism of Shaked can and should be heard from the Opposition, from the media or from any concerned citizen. After all, the nation is the sovereign that sent its elected officials to their positions. It is the citizens’ right and duty to criticize them as they see fit.
But a clerk (as senior as he may be) is supposed to serve the government elected by the people. Because the clerk (as senior as he may be) was not elected. He was appointed. The very fact that the AG has stepped outside the boundaries of his position and instead of advising the government behind closed doors, allows himself to publicly criticize his employers – the elected officials- proves that the Justice Minister was right. The power to govern has most certainly trickled from Israel’s elected officials to clerks who have been appointed to key positions – particularly in the justice department.
Now all the pundits will tell me that I do not understand the role of the Attorney General. But the AG’s authority has steadily increased over the years, with no public debate or legislation. His authority is way above and beyond the authority of AGs in every other democracy in the world.
In truth, though, the problem is not the Attorney General.
Will the PM dare reprimand him? Did anybody say ‘governance’?